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Tips for Using the Media to Grow Your Brand

Written by Dawn Mucci

breaking news banner for media promotion of small businesses

You created a great concept and now you are ready to let the world know about your brand. The trouble is, you only have so many marketing dollars in your company coffers to get the word out. If you are a new or emerging brand with minimal capital this can be a huge challenge. I’ve been there myself and I know the struggle is real. If you find yourself in this situation or simply want to learn how to save some money in this department, consider using the media to grow your brand. I did this successfully albeit out of sheer necessity and I did it by spending time crafting my story and sharing it passionately, forming relationships with key contacts in the industry at all levels. There are many forms of media for you to leverage and I will touch on the top ones in this article.

In all honesty, I was not really using the media. I was helping the media engage their audience with relevant and timely content they needed and wanted to grow their perspective interest. This can be accomplished through traditional media such as TV, radio, and print or via platforms like social media, YouTube, events, podcasts, article writing etc. When I say to ‘use the media’, what I mean is to use what you have to offer in the way of a story, expertise or educational content. When you realize it is not about what the media can offer you but what you can offer them, it becomes less intimidating and much easier to approach people to create those mutually beneficial relationships.

I asked a couple of my franchise industry friends who have done an excellent job in this regard to provide me with their insights; they were more than happy to share these tips:

Make it easy and be timely with your content

Fellow Mompreneur member Ruthie Burd of The Lunch Lady is a media darling, appearing on countless TV shows and in articles teaching families the importance of healthy eating and showing them creative lunch options. She had the following suggestions:

“Be prepared not only with a compelling story but to also have pictures and props, which will eliminate the need to send a photographer or do extra production work. People have too much coming at them already. Anything you can do to reduce their time stress and make it easy for them is appreciated. Be timely with your content as well; for example, we make school lunches a subject of interest in September when the new school year begins. Tell everyone your story, you never know who is listening or who knows who. Finally, hire an agency or someone professional to help you be prepared with ideas to pitch for their advice and feedback. You want to create synergistic partnerships with anyone representing your brand to ensure your voice is authentic in the public space.” Continue reading Tips for Using the Media to Grow Your Brand

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Paula Alblas – Independent Star Stylist with Stella & Dot

Paula Alblas is an Elite+ Mompreneur member based out of Puslinch, Ontario. She is passionate about her role as an Independent Star Stylist with Stella & Dot, where she is all about empowering women and giving them the opportunity to style their own life with either their very own business or irresistible jewelry. We are excited to share Paula’s Success Story!

Mompreneur Paula Alblas - star stylist with Stella and Dot Canada

What is your “WHY” behind your business/being an entrepreneur?
As a child growing up I was a nobody. I was a girl that thought I would make nothing of my life. I knew when I looked good, I felt good. Little did I know that when I started my business with Stella & Dot it would take me as a person to a whole new level, just because I liked sparkly things and they made me look at myself and smile. I know now that I am not a nobody; I am a woman that loves her job, her family and now most importantly herself. Stella & Dot has given me more than I had ever hoped for. It has given me the ability to stand tall and look at myself in the mirror — and smile back!

What inspired you to become an entrepreneur? 
I love the ability to work from home so I can be there for my kids. My whole life I always wanted to be a mom, and this way when my kids need me I am there for them.

Mompreneur Paula Alblas - star stylist with Stella and Dot Canada

What’s the best part about owning your own business? 
The best part is I oversee my success! So when I want something, I just have to go for it and get it! Also, the ability to be around for my family. Continue reading Paula Alblas – Independent Star Stylist with Stella & Dot

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Brainstorming Sessions that Work

brainstorming ideas - sessions that work for mompreneurs and women entrepreneurs

What do you do when you have to solve a problem or you need a killer new idea for your business?  Many business owners spend thousands of dollars on consultants when the perfect solution is right in front of them tucked away in one of their employee’s brain.  How can you access your employees’ great ideas?  Why not try a brainstorming session?  Here are some techniques that will help you hold a brainstorming session that is actually effective:

Don’t allow criticism.

The fear of criticism stifles creativity and makes people unwilling to suggest unconventional ideas, which is the whole point of the exercise.  Focus on quantity instead of quality.  Make it a team goal to come up with 75 new ideas.

Invite the right people.

Ideally, you would want to have between four and eight people at your brainstorming meeting.  When the group gets too big, people start to get intimidated.  Include a mix of people from different levels and departments.  You want to invite people who are willing to think big.

Make it a comfortable experience.

The space that you are working in matters.  Try to find a different room than the one that you use for your regular meetings.  Make sure that the chairs are comfortable and that people have room to walk around.  Select a time for the meeting when your employees won’t be too distracted by other tasks, and don’t forget to provide food and coffee.

Have an official facilitator.

You need someone to keep everyone on track and make sure that there is no judgment or criticism of ideas.  It is best if the facilitator is someone other than the manager so that the team members don’t become intimidated.

Plan next steps.

Clearly communicate what the next steps will be.  After investing their time and energy into this meeting, it will annoy your employees if all their ideas lead to nothing.

When handled properly, brainstorming meetings can be an effective team building experience.  It can get people talking in the lunch room, which is where the best ideas will come from anyway.  Your real goal as a business owner is to create a culture of brainstorming at your company.  If your employees are always thinking and are motivated to develop and share their ideas, it will take your business to some amazing (and interesting) places.


Written by Karen Bivand

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5 Tips for Building Your Email List

By Stacey Hartman

If you’re looking to really start growing your business, email marketing is an awesome way to expand your customer base. One major stumbling point for some, though, is building your subscriber list. Fret not, we have several sure-fire steps to get your email list booming. Let’s take a look!

1. Get an email marketing service.

tips from GoDaddy for mompreneur on how to build your email list

This step might seem a bit obvious, but it is an important one. Email marketing services give you access to powerful list-management systems, opt-out functionality that will help you comply with government anti-spam laws, and the ability to quickly create professional-looking marketing emails. GoDaddy has an amazing email marketing product that meets all of these needs and is easy to use for email marketing beginners.

If you’re starting out small, you might think, “Why do I need to get a email marketing service right away?” You can handle a small list of subscribers yourself, right? Not so fast. The other angle to consider is that most regular email services won’t allow you to use their email system for email marketing.

If you send out more emails than they consider to be “normal” email use, you can be blocked from sending emails. What’s more, you’d need to manually update your email list for opt-out requests, or you risk facing penalties. Start off on the right foot and go with an email marketing service. It’ll save you headaches down the road.

2. Sign-up forms.

You’ve likely seen plenty of sign-up forms for email lists on other sites. To be effective, though, you’ll need to consider where to place your forms on your website, beyond just a pop-up. There are a few options for form placement to consider: Continue reading 5 Tips for Building Your Email List

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Kelly Rogers – Happy Rock Holistics

Kelly Rogers is an Elite+ Mompreneur member based out of London, Ontario. As the owner of Happy Rock Holistics, Kelly is dedicated to offering treatments to heal, detoxify, and nourish your mind and body using blends of fresh botanicals, essential oils, and natural ingredients customized to what your energy reflects. We are excited to share Kelly’s story!

Mompreneur Kelly Rogers of Happy Rock Holistics in London Ontario


What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
I’ve always thought up creative ways to have businesses since a very young age. At age 7, I started a neighbourhood daycare out of my parents garage, where snacks, dance, excercise, and math worksheets were provided, all based on age and allergies. I’ve taken entrepreneurial studies in high school, won first place in the  IVEY school of business competition in Grade 11, and was a part of Junior Achievement as well. I’ve always had my own idea’s about ‘work’ and once shown my true path, everything just started falling into place.

What’s the best part about owning your own business?
I wake up excited about my clients, I truly enjoy what I do, and just feel so grateful to be able to live freely.

Mompreneur Kelly Rogers of Happy Rock Holistics in London Ontario Continue reading Kelly Rogers – Happy Rock Holistics

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How Custom Apparel Can Help Motivate and Inspire Your Employees

Regardless of your industry, it’s no secret that custom branded apparel is an integral part of your company’s branding strategy. Wearing your company logo helps to promote your company’s identity and establish a professional image. But along with the many benefits to your company’s marketing efforts, printing or embroidering your logo on custom apparel can have a residual positive impact on your employees’ attitudes and work ethic; even your own!

Custom Apparel Improves Morale

One of the biggest advantages to outfitting employees in custom apparel is the boost it can give to employee attitudes and work ethic. When your employees feel like valued members of a team, they are more likely to be loyal to your company, show pride in their work and even be more productive.

mompreneur partner Entripy Custom Clothing staff

Custom Apparel Improves Performance

Employees are often more motivated to get work done when they feel part of something larger than themselves. When sporting your company logo, employees are more likely to feel accountable for your company’s success and are more motivated to get work done. Plus, employees wearing branded apparel tend to act more professionally, knowing that their actions when out in public will reflect on the company. Continue reading How Custom Apparel Can Help Motivate and Inspire Your Employees

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Dr. Marianna Switchuk – Monarch Laser & Wellness Centre

Dr. Marianna Switchuk is an Elite+ Mompreneur member based out of Hamilton, Ontario. She is the owner of Monarch Laser & Wellness Centre, a physician owned and operated wellness Centre that provides many services to help individuals “Look Better & Feel Better”, offering ‘positive aging’ services like medical aesthetics and bio-identical hormone therapy amongst other things. We are excited to share Marianna’s Success Story!

Mompreneur Dr. Marianna Switchuk of Monarch Laser & Wellness Centre in Hamilton, Ontario

What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
As a woman who wanted to age “positively”, I put together a group of health professionals who could offer services that were not readily available.

What is your “WHY” behind your business/being an entrepreneur?
Everyday I have clients who tell me that I have changed their life in some way. Whether it is something small like removing a mole or helping them sleep better at night. I am able to help, inspire, motivate, teach, listen, empathize, guide, and counsel others on a wide range of  issues.

What’s the best part about owning your own business?
Being able to offer services and products that I feel passionate about, that I can confidently recommend and that I would want to use for myself or a loved one.

Can you describe a typical day?
Awaken and enjoy time with my husband and family. Have breakfast, shower and dress for work. Walk our 2 dogs. Drive to work which is about 20 minutes away. Often bring my toy poodle to work with me. Begin seeing clients at 9am and work til 5pm. I often have lunch at my desk. During the day there may be administrative issues that need my attention and I will take care of these throughout the day. My dog Lily joins me in appointments with my clients or spends time with my staff at the front desk. Continue reading Dr. Marianna Switchuk – Monarch Laser & Wellness Centre

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How to Stop Overextending Yourself

tips to stop overextending, for women entrepreneursDo you often feel like you have bitten off more than you can chew? Do you find yourself rushing from project to project with barely enough time in between to eat or shower? If you are like many entrepreneurs, you may have a tendency to over-commit yourself.  People overextend themselves for various reasons; perhaps you just get caught up in the moment and agree to something before you check your schedule, or maybe you find it difficult to say no to people.

Whatever your motivation, it leaves you feeling frustrated and frazzled, and it could potentially damage your reputation if you’re not able to honour all of the commitments that you’ve made. Here are some tips to help you take control and stop over-committing:

  • Acknowledge that it’s a problem: While it’s normal to be busy, if your hectic pace causes you to be stressed out most of the time, then it is something that you need to address. Being constantly on the run is bad for your health, puts a strain on your relationships with your friends and family, and can cause you to lose focus of your goals. You can work on your business for twenty hours a day and still find that success slips through your fingers. Being busy is productive; frantically scrambling around is not. If you think that you may currently be overextended, then it is time to step back and re-evaluate.
  • Listen to your body: Your body is great at telling you when you’re going too fast, provided that you take the time to listen. How do you feel? Do you have trouble sleeping? Are you tired all of the time? Do you suffer from headaches? Are you having digestive problems? Do you have acne or eczema or any other skin conditions that flare up when you’re stressed? If your body is displaying symptoms of stress then it means that your activities are physically straining you. Don’t take these symptoms lightly; while you may only be able to detect a headache and a rash, that same stress could be causing much more serious damage to your body.

Continue reading How to Stop Overextending Yourself

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Kristen Nagle – Sweaty Successful Moms

Kristen Nagle is an Elite Mompreneur member based out of London, Ontario. She is the co-founder of Sweaty Successful Moms, a community that supports and empowers all women, and believes in your dreams even on the days you don’t believe in yourself! We are excited to share Kristen’s Success Story…

mompreneur Kristen Nagle of Sweaty Successful Moms

What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
I currently work shift work and have missed special holidays and celebrations due to work. I realized that I wasn’t living out my passions and interests. I wanted to be more in charge of my day, to live more in alignment, to really follow my passions and feel proud and fulfilled.

What’s the best part about owning your own business?
Knowing that it is mine, seeing my growth, overcoming challenges, meeting people I never would have otherwise, and getting out of my comfort zone. I feel proud to have created something that is meaningful to me and supports what I am passionate about.

Can you describe a typical day?
Things are pretty hectic, as I am still working full-time as a nurse (soon going part-time), as well as going to school and starting up a business. Due to shift work, each day is different;  meetings, school, work, time with my 22 month old, tryingto fit in a workout… maybe even sleep! My days are full. Continue reading Kristen Nagle – Sweaty Successful Moms

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Dreaming Bigger Than the Fear

Written by Darlene Gudrie Butts

dream bigger than your fears

Do you have this huge desire to do something big?

Do you take a couple of steps and then stop, paralyzed by “what ifs”?

I can relate.

I have always been a big dreamer and if I am not a little scared I feel I am not living fully. But, this year I made the mistake of dreaming so big that the “what ifs” have been pummeling me in a heavy downpour.

I decided two months ago to go on this epic journey to travel across Canada to gather stories for Canada’s 150th birthday. The 150 best ones would be put in a book.

Not a bad idea.

What??? CANADA is HUGE! The gas alone will be insane.

Here comes the fear…

What if I run out of money?

What if no one submits a story?

What if the stories suck?

What if I can’t get people and businesses to sponsor books for grade fives and my big dream goes kaput?

Then, I turned it all around and sucker-punched fear to the floor.

What if I don’t run out of money?

What if I do run out of money and don’t cover every province in person? Can I still write the book? Hell yeah!

What if the site crashes because so many people are submitting stories and I make the national news because of it, which in turn causes another crash?

What if I meet the sweetest, most amazing people and get to tell the stories no one would hear if I didn’t share them?

What if I get to inspire a whole generation?

Dreaming bigger than fear is easy. It is all about perspective. If you concentrate on all the wonderful things that can happen versus the negative, they will happen. I promise.

Whenever I get overwhelmed, by this project I stop and picture an email sent by a ten-year-old telling me how she read a story in 150 Canadian Stories and now she is inspired to do something big for herself and her country.  Her life will be forever changed by one story. Then, I take the next logical step.

Take that fear!

Mic drop.

mompreneur Darlene Gudrie Butts of 150 Canadian Stories
Darlene Gudrie Butts
is an acclaimed author and speaker as well as a very proud Canadian and Elite+ Mompreneur member. She wanted to celebrate this country’s upcoming 150th birthday with her power skill, story-telling. Willing to leave her business, city and friends behind, Darlene is embarking on a three-month tour of this incredible country looking for ordinary people with extraordinary stories. Her big dream is to be able to get enough books sponsored to be able to gift them to every grade five student in Canada so that the next generation has the love and pride she has for this country! Find out more about Darlene’s journey at



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